Church holds community fair to help families cope with financial crisis

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Church holds community fair to help families cope with financial crisis

By Mary Townsend | Oct. 30, 2008
SAINT PETERSBURG — Allendale United Methodist in Saint Petersburg coordinated the first of what is hoped will become an annual event called “Our Town, Neighbor to Neighbor Community Fair.”

Members invited nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County to come together under one roof to set up booths and display what they do, letting residents needing help know how they can contact the organizations to apply for assistance and giving residents the opportunity to know firsthand just what help is out there for them.

During the current economic crisis, more and more families are cutting budgets and having trouble paying mortgages and utilites and buying food. Church members wanted neighbors to be introduced to the many resources available in Pinellas County.

More than 60 nonprofit organizations participated, and an “enormous number of residents attended” and were able to connect with various groups. Many said they had no idea some of the nonprofits existed. Groups ranged from the American Red Cross with its blood mobile to CASA, Operation Par, Senior Aid, Friends of Strays, Habitat for Humanity, American Stage and Dali Museum.

The event was an even bigger success than members expected for a first-time effort. It was free, and members offered hot dogs and sodas, along with door prize donated by local businesses.


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